Recognition award nominations

How to write a nomination for the Excellence Awards, Collier Medal, or Infinite Mile

“I wish I’d nominated my colleague!” Rewards + Recognition Program Manager Cori Champagne hears this every year at the reception that follows the MIT Excellence Awards + Collier Medal ceremony.

“This year, let’s replace all of the reasons for not submitting a nomination with reasons why it is easier and better to do it now.” Champagne says. “If you put it off, you risk not doing it at all.”

Here’s how to get started.

Review categories and guidelines

  • Start by reading about the various categories of awards on the Rewards + Recognition (R+R) program website.
  • For Excellence Awards and Collier Medal nominations, review the nomination guidelines and open the online nomination form.
  • For Infinite Mile and Appreciation Awards, find your organizational area on the “Find Your Local Program” page of the R+R website.

Begin anywhere

  • You don’t need a magic formula to write an award nomination. You can start with the nominee’s role at MIT and what they’ve done above and beyond those responsibilities. Or start with an event or action or project the nominee took on to improve things—or how you came to be aware of the great work the nominee has done.
  • Work in stages to save time. The R+R database is set up so that you can begin nominations at any point and revise and add more information incrementally. This functionality allows you to email drafts to your own inbox. Nothing is final until you consider it complete and confirm the final submission. If you decide to make revisions after you hit the “Complete” button, R+R staff can let you back in to make changes.
  • Capitalize on experience. R+R Key Contacts in your DLC are familiar with the process, and previous nominators and communications colleagues are also good resources for new nominators. And you can always email questions to Cori Champagne, R+R Program Manager.
  • Don’t stress over creating sparkling prose. The Selection Committee responds to clear descriptions more than poetic passages. Use lists, bullet points, phrases. You also can start by reviewing some of the questions on the “Tips for Writing a Nomination” page. The “Be Descriptive” page has before and after examples of how to strengthen your nomination.
  • The award criteria are meant to provide applicable examples—not an “all or nothing” laundry list. If your colleague is doing something extraordinary that sounds like it is “Sustaining MIT,” just describe what they are doing. Nominees don’t have to meet every one of the award criteria to qualify for a category.
  • You don’t have to write your nomination alone. Chances are if you think somebody is doing a great job, other people think so, too. Include quotes in your nomination from coworkers, clients, and students to give a more complete picture of what makes your nominee exceptional.

Keep in mind

  • The Selection Committee can only select recipients from nominations submitted in the current award cycle. The best way to ensure that the committee considers your nominee is to submit your nomination as soon as possible.
  • The awards are competitive. If your nomination isn’t selected in the current cycle, however, you can resubmit it in the next cycle or for an upcoming Infinite Mile award cycle. There are many, many instances of nominees being recognized after being submitted in multiple award cycles.  The Selection Committee always makes note of multiple nominations in its deliberations. 
  • The best reason for writing a nomination right now is that there is undoubtedly an exceptional person at MIT who deserves to be recognized!

Helpful links